Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bob Corker for President!

Bob Corker

I nominate Bob Corker for President of the United States! I like his gutsy, feisty manner combined with a calm demeanor, his grasp of the issues, his well-reasoned arguments and his principled, conservative, pragmatic, business-like, problem-solving approach to government.

In the auto bailout debate, I thought he was by far the most persuasive and passionate critic of the government’s defacto nationalization of General Motors. He clearly defined the issues when he declared, “This is a marked departure from the past, truly breathtaking, and should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise. I worry that in one fell swoop we’ve lost our moral high ground throughout the global community as it relates to chastising other countries that use strong arm tactics to invade on private property rights.” (link)

He was prophetic when he said, “it will be interesting to see if the administration makes these decisions (to close GM facilities) based on a red state and blue state strategy or based on efficiency and capable, skilled workers at each plant. If they use the latter, our GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee should do very well.” As it turns out Saturn was closed despite being a state of the art production facility.

Last year as I watched the Senate hearings on the Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade bill, I was stuck by Corker’s grasp of the issues and by his logic. He did not simply deny the science of global warming and propose doing nothing as many opponents of Cap and Trade have done. He did not demigod the proposed bill, but calmly and clearly explained how cap and trade would work and what was wrong with the Lieberman-Warner approach and why it would not achieve its objectives and the damage it would do to the economy. He proposed common sense amendments to try to fix the bill. (link) On these two issues I have thought Corker excelled and was the voice of reason and principle.

I don’t personally know Bob Corker, but I have known about him for a very long time, even before he was ever elected to public office. As one who works in the affordable housing sector, I have followed closely affordable housing issues. Bob Corker has been a leader in this field. I admit to being a “bleeding-heart conservative.” I think that term was first used by Jack Kemp to describe himself but it applies to me and I suspect Bob Corker is also a bleeding-heart conservative. There are not many conservatives who are passionate about affordable housing, but Bob Corker has been an affordable housing leader.

In Chattanooga, while a private citizen, Bob Corker helped finance and create and manage Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE). a private, non-profit corporation created to finance and develop affordable housing in that city. CNE financed, rehabilitated, or produced more than 3,000 units of affordable housing in a city of 150,000 people. CNE leveraged more dollars and did more with limited resources than any city in America. CNE won awards and was the envy of affordable housing advocates across America. Bob Corker came as close to solving the affordable housing problem in Chattanooga, as it is possible to get. (link)

Bob Corker served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005. As mayor he oversaw a $120 million urban renovation project, which transformed the city and made it the beautiful progressive city it is today. He was innovative in the use of property assessment freezes and tax credit financing to promote downtown development. His policies led to the development of the waterfront and spurred housing development in the city and expansion of museums and the riverfront park and the Chattanooga Aquarium. Chattanooga has emerged as a great city and most people give Bob Corker the bulk of the credit.

In addition to Corker’s record in the Senate, and as Mayor, and a leader in affordable housing, another thing I like about Corker is that he has been a successful businessman. He worked himself up from a construction superintendent to the owner of a very large construction company and a real estate developer. Unlike a lot of politician, he has experience in the real world. He has had to make payroll and examine balance sheets and put deals together, and manage big projects, something most elected politicians including the current President of the United States has never had to do.

With the falling by the wayside of some rising stars in the Republican Party, the nomination should be wide open. Quite frankly, I am not impressed by any of the front runners for the Party standard bearer. I am looking for someone fresh, innovative, energetic, pragmatic, intelligent and who is a principled conservative. I think that person is Bob Corker.

If Bob Corker will announce the establishment of an exploratory committee to consider running for President, I will sign up and send him $100 immediately. If I, a modest income, frugal, middle class guy will open my wallet, there must be a lot of others who will do the same. I know a campaign for President is expensive, but Bob Corker should be able to compete. Tennessee has a lot of big contributor's to the Republican Party. I understand that the Belle Meade zip code here in Nashville is the leading zip code in the nation for political contributions to Republican candidates. With the Tennessee Republican money base and Bob’s years of contacts in the business community and politics, he should be able to raise the money.

Bob, the stars are aligned. The time is right. There may never be a better opportunity. The country needs you. Run Bob, Run!

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  1. Siddhartha ViciousJuly 12, 2009 at 5:25 PM

    Caution, there, Mister Williams. It may sound paranoid, but I fear that drawing attention to any Republican with actual leadership qualities, this far ahead of a national election will only allow the media time to find, falsify and/or fabricate sufficient talking points for the destruction of said person.

  2. I take it you're not aware Bob Corker hired a lawyer to subvert The Process so he could sell protected wetlands to WalMart to finance his US Senate bid...

  3. IMHO, I suspect he doesn't think he's "ripe" yet.
    I totally have him pegged as on the 2016 train.
    We shall see.

  4. Interesting choice for a candidate

  5. Well said....With you 100%! He is a great Tennessean!